Book Review: City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

Title: City of Ghosts
Author: Victoria Schwab
Genre: Middle Grade / Paranormal
Publication Date: August 28th, 2018
Publisher: Scholastic
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Ever since Cass almost drowned (okay, she did drown, but she doesn’t like to think about it), she can pull back the Veil that separates the living from the dead . . . and enter the world of spirits. Her best friend is even a ghost.

So things are already pretty strange. But they’re about to get much stranger.

When Cass’s parents start hosting a TV show about the world’s most haunted places, the family heads off to Edinburgh, Scotland. Here, graveyards, castles, and secret passageways teem with restless phantoms. And when Cass meets a girl who shares her “gift,” she realizes how much she still has to learn about the Veil — and herself.

And she’ll have to learn fast. The city of ghosts is more dangerous than she ever imagined.” (Goodreads)

The main character of this book is a young girl named Cass who’s best friend is a ghost. Jacob, the ghost, saved her from drowning and now she is able to go to the in-between which is where ghosts stay that aren’t ready to move on. Her family doesn’t know of her gift, if you want to call it that. It’s a little ironic that she does see ghosts because her parents write books about haunted places and have accepted to host a show about haunted places around the world.

Cass is a great character and can be relatable, minus the whole ghost thing. She wants to help the ones who can’t help themselves and makes mistakes along the way. I really liked Cass and I also enjoyed her friendship with Jacob. He isn’t a typical ghost and is more like Casper the friendly ghost. I think that is why he is so lovable especially to someone who grew up watching the Casper movies. Even the other characters in the book that don’t have major roles had great depth and weren’t awkwardly placed or unnecessary.

Besides the very beginning of the book, the City of Ghosts takes place in Edinburgh, Scotland. Scotland is one of my favorite countries and this book brought it to life with all the ghosts wandering about. It makes for perfect a setting!

When it came to the plot, I’m not really sure what I was expecting from the title or even the synopsis. I thoroughly enjoyed where the story took Cass and how over time you figure out what she was meant to do with her gift and that she wasn’t the only one with the ability either. The antagonist was creepy but so enticing at the same time. She had a woman in black vibe to her. Frankly, I’m not one for spooky, not even just a little spooky. I am a big chicken! But since it is a middle grade book, its enough spooky without going overboard.

This is the first book by V.E. Schwab I have read. Her writing style is great. Hopefully once I catch up on all my NetGalley reads and library books I’ll manage to find time to read one of her Adult Fantasy/Fiction series. I’m excited to check out more of her work.

I love starting a book and automatically being drawn to the characters and the plot. It can be a rare feeling and I always appreciate the books that can draw me in. City of Ghosts is a great and easy read that anyone can love. It would also be a fun book to read during the spooky month of October since it is fast approaching. Seriously, check this book out!


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